The Pipeline and Storage segment’s earnings of $16.9 million, or $0.20 per share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, increased $7.0 million, or $0.08 per share, when compared with the same period in the prior fiscal year. The increase in earnings is mainly due to higher non-affiliated transportation revenues from the Northern Access and Line N 2012 Expansion projects, which were completed and placed in service in the current year’s first quarter. Earnings also increased due to lower depreciation expense, which was largely driven by a reduction in Supply Corporation’s depreciation rates as required by its 2012 rate case settlement.
The Utility segment operations are carried out by National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation (“Distribution”), which sells or transports natural gas to customers located in western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania.
The Utility segment’s earnings of $22.9 million, or $0.27 per share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, increased $3.5 million or $0.04 per share. Colder weather and lower operating expenses were the primary reasons for the increase in earnings in the current year’s first quarter. Temperatures in Pennsylvania were 10.3 percent colder in the current year’s first quarter than the first quarter of 2012, which had a significant impact on Pennsylvania earnings. In New York, the colder weather did not have a significant impact on earnings for the quarter because the impact of weather variations is mitigated by that jurisdiction’s weather normalization clause.Energy Marketing Segment National Fuel Resources, Inc. (“NFR”) comprises the Company’s Energy Marketing segment. NFR markets natural gas to industrial, wholesale, commercial, public authority and residential customers primarily in western and central New York and northwestern Pennsylvania, offering competitively priced natural gas to its customers. The Energy Marketing segment’s earnings for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, of $0.5 million increased $0.1 million from the prior year’s first quarter earnings of $0.4 million. The increase was mainly due to lower operating expenses during the current year’s first quarter.